Planet Rugby

Tigers cruise past Viadana

16th January 2010 16:04

Share:

Aaron Mauger marks his return

Back in business: Aaron Mauger

Leicester moved temporarily top of Pool 3 on Saturday thanks to a fine 47-8 victory over Viadana at Welford Road.

Scott Hamilton was again the Italian side's nemesis as the Tigers kept their Heineken Cup aspirations alive and kicking.

But Tom Croft was carried off after 27 minutes with a knee injury that threatens his Six Nations hopes.

Full-back Hamilton scored a hat-trick when Leicester crushed the same opponents 46-11 in Italy last year, and his two strikes at Welford Road today included the fourth try which ensured a maximum five-point haul.

Having conceded a late losing bonus point to Clermont before Christmas, Tigers knew they needed a full-house win before facing Ospreys in Swansea next week.

And the visitors encouraged the home support to expect a rewarding afternoon when fly-half Pierre Hola sent the kick-off directly into touch.

The buzz became a mass intake of breath, however, when full-back Garry Law signalled going for goal - from 60 yards - in the third minute. His effort made the distance, but faded right of the posts.

When Leicester were awarded their first penalty minutes later, Toby Flood opted for touch, the lineout was won and, three phases later, Dan Hipkiss swept through two defenders for a sixth-minute opening try. Flood converted from wide on the right.

Law reduced the arrears in the ninth minute with a well-struck penalty, this one from a more modest 25 yards following an offside infringement by Hamilton.

Leicester were playing as if the outcome were a foregone conclusion, something Viadana were happy to challenge with a succession of strong tackles. And they knew that conceding penalties would not bring the customary barrage of points because Leicester were anxious to score at least four tries.

They grabbed their second on 20 minutes when Flood ran a penalty awarded for offside. Jordan Crane opened up the defence on the right with a clever grubber kick and Ben Woods punished a rather casual effort by Michele Sepe to ground the ball, pouncing from behind the wing to get the vital downward pressure. Flood's conversion was again spot-on from the right wing.

Leicester lost Croft in the 27th minute with an injury to his left knee that required two helpers to get the England flanker off the field. Craig Newby replaced him.

The third try arrived after 32 minutes and was sparked by a frankly frightening thundering charge at the Viadana defence by Alesana Tuilagi.

It needed so many defenders to halt the resultant drive on their line that when the ball came out to Flood, he dummied his own three-man overlap and scored by the posts, and completed the score by converting.

The job was completed two minutes later. Hamilton snaffled a loose ball and powered clear of the cover to score on the right and guarantee the essential bonus point. Flood made it four conversions out of four.

Viadana were now looking distinctly rattled and it was no surprise when they caved in again on the stroke of half-time, Hamilton racing onto a short inside pass from Flood to score his second try. Flood nailed his fifth conversion.

Things got worse for Viadana when Law was sin-binned in the 49th minute for persistent offending at rucks. But having withstood a siege comprising five consecutive penalties on their line, Viadana stunned the crowd by breaking out to snatch a try by scrum-half Pablo Canavosio after 55 minutes.

To their credit, Viadana used their bench and re-organised to the point where Leicester's expected avalanche of second-half tries failed to materialise. However, some clumsy passing and wasteful lack of concentration by Leicester were also factors.

When Leicester did score their sixth try, it came half an hour into a scrappy second half as Hipkiss recorded his second strike from close range after a pass from Sam Vesty.

That score burst the Viadana balloon, and a storming run by Tuilagi on 74 minutes ended with his clever outside pass arming Aaron Mauger to score on the left.

The scorers:

For Leicester:
Tries: Hipkiss 2, Woods, Flood, Hamilton 2, Mauger
Cons: Flood 5, Vesty

For Viadana:
Tries: Canavosio
Pens: Law

Leicester: 15 Scott Hamilton, 14 Alesana Tuilagi, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Sam Vesty, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Julian White, 19 Craig Newby, 20 Lewis Moody, 21 James Grindal, 22 Aaron Mauger, 23 Johne Murphy.

Viadana: 15 Garry Law, 14 Matteo Pratichetti, 13 Sam Cox, 12 Lloyd Johansson, 11 Michele Sepe, 10 Pierre Hola, 9 Pablo Canavosio, 8 Jaco Erasmus, 7 Andrea Benatti, 6 Aaron Persico, 5 Sean Hohneck, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Julio Garcia, 2 Luigi Ferraro, 1 Plinio Sciamanna.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Luigi Milani, 18 Mattia Cagna, 19 Josh Furno, 20 Gareth Krause, 21 Mickey Wilson, 22 Aldo Birchall, 23 Samuele Pace.

Referee: James Jones (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00